Hey guys! Please join me in welcoming Laura Breck today. Laura is a member of Midest Fiction Writers, a Minnesota chapter of RWA and one the dearest people you’ll ever meet. She’s also celebrating the release of her first book this month, SECRET LAS VEGAS LIVES. Woo hoo, Laura! And welcome to the convertible …
New Book and Fun Contest!
My first novel, Secret Vegas Lives, was released in October, and I’m so crazily excited! This book was a pleasure to write, re-write, and re-write again as I learned the craft, and listened to the advice of critique partners. It started out with a totally different first chapter, and expanded to include a blackmailer and a mystery. When I read it, I’m still amazed that this all came from…me!
Many authors compare writing a novel to giving birth to a baby. If that’s true, then marketing a book is like trying to convince people to babysit. Oh, sure, family and friends will go for it, because – well – they’re family and friends, and they have to. But how do I convince complete strangers that they’ll love my ‘baby’ as much as I do?
How about using a catchy blurb: Mistaken for a blackmailer, socialite Valerie Kane will do anything to keep sexy Italian crime writer Antonio Daniato from publicly exposing her, and Antonio is wickedly intent on seeing how far Valerie will go to protect her reputation.
Bestselling author Antonio Daniato sets a trap to capture his blackmailers, and is surprised when well-known psychologist Valerie Kane stumbles into his arms. She swears she’s not involved, but he threatens to expose her unless she reveals her accomplice. When she bares her soul to prove her innocence, Antonio is fascinated by her honesty, but shaken by the intensity of his desire for her.
Surrendering to temptation, Valerie defies her family’s wishes and risks her reputation to let hot blooded, enigmatic Antonio into her life. But she uncovers evidence that he’s staging the blackmail scenes as research for his next book – and casting her as the blackmailer. When she confronts him, it’s his turn to convince her of his innocence.
Their outrageous sexual attraction keeps them in each other’s arms, but mutual distrust prevents them from admitting their deeper emotions. When the true blackmailer threatens to reveal Antonio’s double life, Antonio yields to his guilt and chooses to let Valerie go. But Valerie discovers his secret, and will fight for Antonio against an addiction whose hold on him may be stronger than their love.
And then I could throw in a spicy excerpt: Antonio opened a carved wooden door that reminded him of his parents’ vineyard in Italy. He flicked on the light and saw stairs leading down to a wine cellar, but only got down the first step before he heard a scream from upstairs.
Valerie? Everything okay?” He set his beer down and ran. Halfway up to the second floor he heard her laughter.
He followed her voice into the bedroom and looked around. Bed, side tables, dressers, closet doors open, bathroom door, and two big stuffed chairs, but no one in the room.
He heard her laugh from the closet. “Valerie?”
She walked out, giggling, wearing jeans and holding a shirt over her front to cover–he swallowed hard–her bra.
“I heard a scream.”
She was still laughing. “I’m sorry, I was startled.” She held up what looked like a tarantula and tossed it at him. “I found this in my boot.”
He caught the spider. Rubber. “Someone playing a joke on you?”
“It had to be my brother. He’s always doing things like this. I just wonder how long it’s been in there.”
He walked toward her, feeling like a spider advancing on an unsuspecting butterfly. “Since we’re up here…”
Her eyes changed from laughing to serious. He ran his hand through her long, silky hair, then up her back to the nape of her neck. “Kiss me.”
She let out a breath, leaned in to him and pressed her lips to his. One hand held her shirt over her breasts, the other fisted in his T-shirt and pulled him closer. Her tongue teased his lips, he opened for her and their tongues played.
He walked her backward, lowered her to the bed and laid half on top of her, kissing her deeply, slowly. Her tan silk bedspread was a sensual glide against his skin. He ran his fingers over her ribs; her skin felt even more enticing.
She was perfect under him, more passionate than he’d imagined, sweeter than anything he’d tasted.
He should stop. Damn. He’d promised himself he’d be a gentleman tonight, and he was damn close to seducing her.
Removing his leg, he slowed the kiss. Looking into her eyes, he saw need as hot as his own, but her hand still held the shirt across her breasts. A sure sign she didn’t want him to go further.
He sat up. “I’ll go downstairs and let you get dressed.”
“Thanks for coming to my rescue.”
“Anytime.” He stood.
Her hair fanned out on the bedspread, tempting him unmercifully. This time he would walk away. Next time it would end much differently.
A portion of the proceeds of Secret Vegas Lives are donated to The Shade Tree Shelter in Las Vegas, Nevada. The shade tree is a shelter for women, children, and their pets. I think it’s a lovely idea to include a pet shelter. Many women in abusive situations won’t leave home because they don’t want to abandon their furry friends. I’m pleased that The Shade Tree has allowed me to partner with them.
How about the possibility of a gift? I will send one commenter a goodie bag of my promotional items. Tell me how you convince people to babysit, or if you’re a writer, your favorite book marketing strategy.
Thank you to Riding With the Top Down for having me here today. It’s an honor to be in the company of such fabulous writers! I look forward to reading your comments.
You can buy Secret Vegas Lives at RedRosePublishing.com